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GREEN ART

Artworks blossom at the Arboretum

October 05, 2008|Liesl Bradner

How DOES the Los Angeles County Arboretum's garden grow? Very artfully, thanks to the launch of its Art in the Garden Initiative.

The Arcadia institution is hoping to bring in new audiences with works that interpret nature, such as environmental artist Patrick Dougherty's eerie "Catawampus" sculptures unveiled this year. Made entirely of sticks, saplings and other organic materials woven together, the willowy, haystack-like pieces stand more than 15 feet high. Kids and parents are encouraged to stroll through and climb the installation, which is temporary -- after all, it will eventually disintegrate on its own.

In a more permanent vein, glass artist Leigh Adams' "Serpent Trail" invites visitors to wander along its winding quarter-mile path, which is inlaid with glass mosaic tiles. It runs through the Arboretum's Australian garden, which features various plantings indigenous to Down Under. Each mosaic piece is inspired by aboriginal art, and the path refers to tales of a mythical "dream snake."

"Bringing art into the garden creates a curiosity, an appreciation and wonder for the natural world through the vision of an artist," said Cynthia Vargas, the Arboretum's communications/marketing manager.

Also in the works are new children's discovery exhibits, music and interactive programs.

-- Liesl Bradner

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